Question of the week

TENANTS IN Stirling have voted 2-1 against stock transfer, leaving both the council and the Scottish Executive with a major headache.

The 68% vote against the deal follows a narrow rejection of transfer in Edinburgh. The next test of the policy will come in Renfrew, which is currently balloting, followed by Highland and Inverclyde next month. Glasgow, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar [the Western Isles for English readers] have voted ‘yes’.

The Stirling deal would have seen £24.5 million of housing debt written off and extra investment in the 5,600-home stock but ‘no’ campaigners attacked it as privatisation. Council deputy leader John Hendry said:

‘It is clear that the consequences of this result are serious both for tenants and the wider community. Stirling Council will now need to explore how it can fund improvements and regeneration in the future, within the resources available to the Council. We are all disappointed, but the Council will work hard to ensure that we continue to deliver the best possible housing service with the resources we have.’

For more see The Herald’s story here.

The case for and against transfer is being made up and down the country. In the latest vote in England, at the end of September, tenants of four estates in Tower Hamlets voted ‘no’. In Wales, meanwhile, a Cardiff University academic has accused local authorities of saddling tenants with poor quality homes through ‘a combination of inertia and ideology’ over transfer.